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The Watches of the Night


I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Psalms 130:6

The darkness surrounds me on every side, the shadows grow long in this houses with few remaining lights, and yet I don’t reach out for any light switches. I sit here by the unnatural lamp of a laptop and I call out your Name. The darkness doesn’t hide me.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

I call out your name in all the hours of the night; in nights so cold and long that the memory of the sun warm on my face seems only a false memory of a different lifetime. I listen to the stillness broken only by the remain of rain that falls on both the just and the unjust. I am both, and I am neither. Be near to me in this darkness.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

The words in which my mouth intercedes are strange to me; a different tongue of exotic prose. And yet they are only useless breath of mysterious syllables and tones if they have not love. They are only the clanging of a forsaken gong. They are only banging of cymbals. Let Your love bring them to life. Let Your love guide my prayers.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

Heartbreak is my alarm clock and frustration is my caffeine as my eyes refuse to close and my mind rebels against sleep. You have known both of these. You who could sleep in a boat in the midst of a storm when you knew the Father would not let you perish. You who stayed up to pray during the watches of the night when you knew the Father called you surrender your life. Alone you prayed with no one to see how your blood mixed with your sweat.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

My heart fails me and my words seem hallow. My mind seems to desire answers to questions that my heart fears to ask. I long to run and no longer have to plead with You through this endless night watch. And yet I do not run. Where do I have to run? You have the words to eternal life. So I ask you…. please speak them. Only speak the words…

Hear my prayers, Oh God

And yet, even in the encroaching darkness, my mind goes to the memory of light. My face can almost feel of the sun on my closed eyes and cheeks. I remember Zion, Lord… the hills of Your presence. The lush fields that stretch on perhaps to eternity as the wind blows patterns in the grass in ever changing waves among the countless blades of green. Each blade a single thought of which you have for me tonight. For You are to be praised.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

So I rejoice in Your goodness and for the goodness of the joy you set before us. I rejoice in Your goodness given to the ones for whom I pray. If only I could take all their heartache and pain away. Yet, I know in this world we will have sorrow. You have this same desire for them. It was for their fear that you were wounded. It was for their hope that you were bruised. It was for their peace that you were punished and by your scars they are healed. Bring healing, Lord.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

Keep your promises, my God and your covenant to your people. The new covenant of Your presences and Your Spirit among us. Bring comfort to these who are hurting and hope to these who need so much. Bring peace to these who are fraught with worry, and grace for whom I pray for through this night.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

So now I sit here, still in my mind under that tree where I sat when I shut the world out to all but You. My mind does not yet understand. Perhaps it never will. My heart wants to despair. So even in this loss I know you have not left Your Throne, no do you let your glory fade. My heart will trust even when my spirit grieves within me. Please help my heart to trust.

Hear my prayers, Oh God.

In weariness, I lay my head to sleep. Perhaps it will come. Perhaps I am destined to see each hour of the night pass one by one. Still, I know that you will remain here with me as I anxiously wait for the fruit of these prayers to come to pass. And I will sing of Your glory as I wait like the watchman waits for the dawn. As the watchman waits for the morning.

For You hear my prayers, Oh God.

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